GREEN BAY (NBC 26) – The Safe Shelter will open this fall, providing an emergency temporary stay for up to 60 people at a time.
“It’s a very cool thing to finally see this come to fruition,” said Sarah Williams, deputy general manager of Safe Shelter. “There are walls, we have sinks, there is a kitchen.”
Pearl Webster, a member of the Oneida Nation and a volunteer at the St. John’s Homeless Shelter, started this project in 2014, seeing the growing homeless population and the need for a family shelter.
“While she was practicing her profession and dealing with families, the homeless population was becoming a bit of a concern for her,” Williams said. “The Aboriginal community is a feeling of family,” said Williams. “They take care of each other. And that’s basically what we want it to feel like when people come here, so during this season of their lives when they’re experiencing homelessness. We want them to know that they are homeless. are loved, needed and wanted somewhere. “
However, the Safe Shelter, located at 2155 Hutson Road, will serve anyone in the community who needs it. There are 14 rooms, all of different sizes, which can accommodate families of six or eight as well as individual adults. NEW Community Outreach will provide health care for families, educators will come to help adults get their GEDs or write resumes and advocates will help people find stable housing in the community.
“Homelessness has a stigma that goes with it,” said Mary Vannieuwenhoven, a volunteer at Lakeland University. people, there is a whole variety of people who are homeless and have no safe place to stay.
Roaming can impact any of us at any time, said Vannieuwenhoven.
“Today I have a great job,” she said. “Tomorrow I couldn’t, and COVID, especially over the past year and a half, has impacted a lot of people. Being able to give back to neighbors, helping those in need, knowing that anyone of us could be in the same situation anytime is really gratifying and we have a great community in Green Bay and Oneida who love to help each other. “
The Safe Shelter estimates the renovations will cost around $ 850,000, so Lakeland University is running a campaign to donate money and the following items:
- Personal toiletries for men / women
- Paper products, toilet paper, tissue boxes
- Bath towels, washcloths
- Hats, mittens, gloves, scarves for children / adults
- Pillows, single sheets, blankets
If you would like to help out and donate, you can drop off items at Lakeland (Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) or at the Wise Women Gathering Place (Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Cash donations can be sent to the following address (checks payable to Safe Shelter):
Attention: Pearl Webster
Safe shelter – PO Box 501
Oneida, WI 54155